The sub-cooperative, all-female Rambagira group of women was formed in 2012, with full support of the larger DUKUNDE KAWA cooperative. The cooperative is located in the Gakenke district, Northern Province, Rwanda.
DUKUNDE KAWA as a cooperative, and many of the cooperative’s customers, have supported the 70 Rambagira women to develop projects that help both them and their community.
Rambagirakawa means “professional women owning and growing coffee trees.” There are currently 70 female members of this expanding group. The cooperative supports these members through farmer training programs, site collector training programs and several women focused initiatives, including a new building specifically built for the Rambagirakawa group. In addition to these educational and social programs, the cooperative continues to improve quality control with the use of their state-of-the-art cupping lab and investment in new processing, sorting, and drying equipment.
Off-season income generation
The women meet regularly during the offseason months at their cooperative to fight un-employment by practicing the time-honored tradition of basket weaving. The Agaseke basket is known for its impressive quality and associated cultural traditions, such as being a traditional gift given during marriage ceremonies. The Rambagira women enjoy the time they can be together and support each other while creating heritage baskets for sale to all visitors to the cooperative.
Days for Girls project
The Rambagira women started this project in early 2019 to provide feminine hygiene supplies to school-age girls and other members of the surrounding community who otherwise do not have the materials to go about their day during menstruation. A generous donor paid for the supplies for the 800 “kits” already sewn by the women and distributed to their community.